A long time ago, a couple got married and promised to be together forever. Even when one of them passed away, their love was so strong that they still stayed connected.
Picture spending your whole life with your partner and then, suddenly, they’re not there anymore. Kathleen Atkins, who was 86 years old, loved her husband, Raymond Atkins, a lot. They had been married for 70 years! Sadly, Raymond, who was 90 years old, was sick with lung cancer for two years.
Raymond really wanted to be at their home in Crewe, Virginia, for their 70th wedding anniversary. But before that could happen, Kathleen didn’t want to wait any longer. She joined Raymond on the other side because she missed him so much. Their love story is a beautiful example of how strong love can be, even in difficult times.
The story of this loving couple started seventy years ago when they got married at Kathleen’s farmhouse. They bought a house where they raised their four kids. Life was sometimes hard for them, and they even faced cancer together. The couple’s son, Les Atkins, says, “That’s just where life happened for them.”
Les also shared that when his dad found out he had lung cancer two years ago, “He kept on working. He didn’t want to stop working.” In the middle of July, Raymond went to the hospital, but by July 22, 2020, he came back home to be with his wife and mark their anniversary.
“He called me and said, ‘I prayed to God all night and all day that I can leave this hospital, and I will be out of here in the morning.’ This was the day before their anniversary,” Les shared. Raymond’s prayers came true, and he was back in the house where he and Kathleen had lived together for 70 years.
As the days passed, Raymond’s health got worse, and he felt weak once again. Kathleen couldn’t bear the thought of living without him. “She told my sister that she could not imagine life without him,” Les revealed.
Their daughter and Les’s sister decided to stay with their parents during the final days. On August 4, 2020, when Les’s sister went to check on her father early in the morning, she found that Raymond had peacefully passed away in his sleep.
Kathleen was very sad when her husband passed away. She loved him so much that she didn’t want him to be alone even after he died. Her last words were, “I’m not gonna let him go alone,” and she crawled into bed to lie down beside him.
Les, their son, said, “Within a matter of minutes, my sister called back and said my mom had crawled in the bed with him and was overcome with grief.”
Within an hour, Kathleen also passed away.
“They did not want to go alone. They had endured this life together. They had this strong faith, and they just refused to be apart. It’s a fairy tale in every sense of the word,” Les added.
Les shared their story on Facebook, saying, “I feel like I’m in the middle of both a horror movie and a beautiful love story. My Dad, who is 90, died today in his sleep. In less than an hour, my mother was so overcome with grief, she died in his arms. 70 years together! They raised four children, ran a successful business with a high school education, and cared for so many in the community over the years.”
Raymond and Kathleen leave behind four children, six grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren who will always remember their love. Their funeral was held on August 8, 2020, and they are buried beside each other.